A whopping 70 percent of key Republican insiders want Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race, according to Politico.
The Politico Caucus spoke with members of the GOP in key battleground states, including activists, strategists and operatives to determine that a strong majority would prefer a different Republican presidential candidate.
Many of the people who were polled cited “Trump’s drag on Republicans in down-ballot races” as the reason they want someone else, according to the site. That said, the same group told Politico that it’s doubtful Trump would actually drop out.
“The effect Trump is having on down-ballot races has the potential to be devastating in November,” a Florida Republican told Politico. Meanwhile, another person from New Hampshire said, “I’d rather take our chances with nearly anyone else than continue with this certain loser who will likely cost the Senate and much more.”
Politico polled Republicans from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. All of the survey’s respondents were anonymous, and it’s uncertain if the percentage of those Republicans who want to replace Trump would be so high if their names had been revealed.
Online betting site William Hill is offering 10/1 odds that Donald Trump will not be the official Republican presidential nominee on the ballot in November, which is equivalent to a nine percent chance that Trump drops out of the race — something that media reports have suggested is a real possibility.
“Persistent rumors are circulating that Trump will pull out of the race, but we think that is very unlikely,” Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe said.
According to ABC News, GOP leaders have been considering the possibility that the real estate mogul might drop out of the election in the wake of his erratic behavior and a series of controversies in the weeks since he accepted the nomination.
During the past week, Trump attacked Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of fallen Muslim-American Iraq War hero Humayun Khan, who appeared at the Democratic Convention to criticize the GOP nominee’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Shortly after, nude photos of Trump’s wife, Melania, leaked online, and he was also ripped for kicking a crying baby out of a campaign rally. In addition, Trump refused to endorse Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan for re-election and said he always wanted to receive a Purple Heart but felt it was “much easier” to be given one by a supporter than to be wounded in battle.
Trump has given no indication that he intends to take himself out of the running, and there is no way for the party to forcibly remove him. But the candidate has recently voiced skepticism concerning the fairness of the upcoming election. If he shocks the world and actually drops out, the 168 members of the Republican National Committee would select his successor.
Politico floated Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Mike Pence and Ryan as possible candidates to replace Trump on the ticket, although many diehard conservatives will probably push for Mitt Romney.
It appears that some anonymous members of the GOP are more realistic than others. While 70 percent apparently want Trump to drop out, many realize it probably won’t happen.
“I also wish I could lose 20 pounds, cut 5 shots off my handicap and play the piano,” a New Hampshire Republican told Politico. “None of those things will happen, and neither will Trump drop out.”
An Ohio Republican told the site, “While I would love for Trump to drop out and anyone else to take the mantle, that kind of talk will only harden his supporters. We cannot let them think we stole this from them. There has never been a better example of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t.'”
A Virginia Republican told the site that Trump is “not going anywhere” because his “ego wouldn’t allow it.”